One of the reasons employees leave an organization is to try their hand at roles that are different from what they are doing. But what if this opportunity is provided to them within the organization? That’s what Benguluru-based Mindtree Ltd, a multinational IT and outsourcing company, is attempting to do with its internal job posting platform called Ozone or opportunities zone. The aim is to provide job listings for employees and encourage them to apply for roles open within the company. And in case, the person doesn’t have the required skill sets, the company offers reskilling courses once the Mindtree mind (that’s what the company calls its employees) shows his or her interest for a posted job.

One of the big motivators for Prachi Ravichandra not quitting Mindtree has been the company’s policy that allows internal role changes. Describing herself as a business technologist, she has spent over a decade with the company working in different roles, including leading a technical team for about eight years. Eventually, the 36-year-old proactively sought to change her profile. She currently works on the business side.

Similarly, Sunil Gujjar, who works with the investor relations team, began his career with Mindtree in the product development department. Desiring to do something new, the 35-year-old earned an MBA degree and CPA (chartered accountant equivalent in the US) licence before moving into his present role.

Sunil Gujjar. Photo: Jithendra M/Mint
Sunil Gujjar. Photo: Jithendra M/Mint

Learning from experience

According to Anish Philip, associate vice president, people process, Mindtree, one of the key reasons people leave an organization is because of the monotony of their job or because of a lack of sufficient learning opportunities. That’s where initiatives like Ozone help. “Also, internal role change helps companies to prepare the next set of leaders as they go through a cross functional journey. Such practices help in leadership development," he says.

Another point is retention of talent. Considering companies are always searching for good talent, the initiative ensures people, who know the culture of the organization, are retained with different challenging roles. “People moving to different roles helps percolate company culture. It allows employees to explore multiple avenues, easily pick up a variety of skills and become well-rounded professionals," he adds.

Challenges

Getting into a new role calls for adjustments. But doing it within the same company brings in some level of comfort. Both Gujjar and Ravichandra feel the transition was easier because they didn’t have to adjust to a new company culture. “A new role is a big shift, it throws new challenges. It is an opportunity to learn and unlearn, to grow and if the company’s culture nurtures it, it’s worth doing it," says Ravichandra.

For Gujjar, it was all about adapting to a team that has “well oiled" processes in place. Unlike his previous stints, which demanded out-of-the-box thinking, his current role called for going with the flow, and dealing directly with the leadership and investors. “Being an investor relations professional is to be on top of things, have the ability to join-the-dots and go deep in everything you do, more so ever because you are interacting closely with the management and large institutional investors. This has created abundant opportunities for me to be a better professional and also contribute to the success of the company," he says.

Going forward, the biggest challenge Philip foresees from an organizational standpoint is effectively managing the scale of applications. “If I put a job, there will be, say, 100 people applying for it. Ultimately, only one or two will get the job. What do you do with other 98? How do we create opportunities for the other set of people now, that we know they are interested in that sort of thing," he says.

Movers and Shakers looks at individuals who have changed their roles within the company and the challenges they have faced.

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